The Ravens have placed punter Sam Koch on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Wednesday, putting his availability for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals into question.
According to ESPN, Koch returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test. The reserve/COVID-19 list is for players who tested positive or are considered a “high-risk” close contact to an infected person. Players who test positive must self-quarantine for at least 10 days. Close contacts, who are identified through contact tracing, must self-quarantine for five days and continue to test.
The Ravens do not have a replacement punter on the practice squad for Koch, who has played a franchise-record 239 games and has yet to miss a game in his 15-year career. Koch is averaging 44.5 yards per punt this season and has placed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Kicker Justin Tucker would figure to handle punting duties if Koch cannot return for Sunday’s game. Tucker averaged 40.5 yards per punt in four years at Texas.
It’s unclear who would handle holding duties on field-goal attempts. Tight end Mark Andrews practiced holding duties in training camp.
“Well, we’ve got to have a backup holder” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in August. “We have to have one. We’ve had different … Eric Weddle did it, if you remember. You try to start with guys that you think have really good hands. So, we’re training Mark [Andrews] to do that. Nick Boyle snaps; Nick works the snaps. You’ve got to have your backups ready.”
Koch is the first Ravens player to be put on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Dec. 16, when wide receivers Miles Boykin, Marquise Brown and James Proche II were added as close contacts. All three returned in time to play that weekend’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Ravens added quarterback Tyler Huntley, who has backed up Lamar Jackson for the past two games, to their weekly practice squad protections. Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley remain on injured reserve. However, Griffin is eligible to return to practice.